He was born as Grantly Dick Read (with no hyphen) on 26 January 1890, the sixth of the seven children of Robert John Samuel Read (1851-1920) and Frances Maria Read née Sayer (1855-1942) in Beccles, Suffolk. His father was a miller, maltster and merchant.
The 1891 census shows him living at Ingate Mill, Ellough Road, Beccles, with his parents and three siblings: Grace Dora Read, Robert John Sayer Read, Frances Amy Read, together with a governess and two female domestic general servants.
In the 1901 census he is recorded as living at 101 Newmarket Road, Norwich, Norfolk, with his parents and six siblings: Mary May Read (1882-1948), Grace Dora Read (1883-1921), Robert John Sayer Read (1884-1956), Margaret Ethel Read (1886-1937), Frances Amy Read (1887-1972), Lewes Hector Read (1891-1963), together with a cook and a housemaid. By the time of the 1911 census he is listed as a medical student residing at 'Rivington', Newmarket Road, Eaton, Norwich with his parents, four siblings, a cook and a housemaid.
In 1914 he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps Special Reserve, identification number Oa132676. The 1915 Medical Directory lists him as: "READ, Grantly Dick, 'Rivington', Eaton, Norwich (Tel: Norwich 828) - B.A.Cantab., M.R.C.S, L.R.C.P. Lond.1914. (Camb. & Lond. Hosp.); Lt. R.A.M.C. Special Reserve". He was badly wounded in Gallipoli but later returned to serve in France ending his war service with the rank of Captain.
On 12 March 1919 he was initiated as a Freemason in the London Hospital Lodge No.2845, which until 1942 met at Pagani’s Restaurant, Great Portland Street, London. He gave his occupation as a student and his address as London Hospital. (The London Hospital was granted a Royal title by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1990 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of its opening on the Whitechapel site, allowing it to be now known as The Royal London Hospital).
On 7 April 1921 he married Dorothea Cannon (1899-1978) at St Mary the Virgin Church, Bexley, Kent. The marriage register shows him as a doctor of medicine living at Hempstead House, Eastbourne, Sussex whilst her address was Mount Eagle, Bexley. They had four children: Diana Dick Read (b.1922), Elizabeth C. D. Read (b.1924), John D. Read (b.1927) and Robert N. D. Read (b.1930). When Diana Dick Read was baptised on 24 June 1924 at St Mary the Virgin Church, Bexley, the baptismal register shows the family residing at Mount Eagle, Bexley. The other three children's births were all registered in the Chertsey registration district and electoral registers from 1924 to 1938 show him listed at 'Thurlton', Chobham Road, Horsell, Woking, Surrey.
Telephone directories from 1935 to 1938 list him as Read, G. Dick, MA, MD, 25 Harley Street, London,W1, LANgham 1895 and the 1939 England and Wales Register shows him as Grantly D. Read at Ottermead, Guildford Road, Ottershaw, Chertsey, Surrey. Also registered was his wife, his wife's sister Evangeline Clara Cannon (1901-1992), his private secretary, a cook, a parlour-maid and a housemaid.
Telephone directories from 1939 to 1949 show him as Read, Dr. Dick,Obstretric Physn, 25 Harley St, W1, LANgham 1895, (Residence),Ottermead, Ottershaw 199, but in 1953 he was listed only as Read Dick, M.D., Obstetrician, Ottermead, Ottershaw 272. These directories from 1954 to 1956 show him as Read Grantly Dick, Stoner House, Steep. Petersfield 148.
From 1948 to 1954 he travelled around Southern Africa and in 1952 he married his second wife Jessica Beatrice Bennett (b.1912). Telephone directories from 1954 to 1956 show him as Read Grantly Dick, Stoner House, Steep. Petersfield 148. They lived in 'The Brown Cottage', Heath House Road, Brookwood, Woking for a while before moving to 'Heronby', Beech Road, Wroxham, Norfolk, where he died, aged 69 years, on 11 June 1959. He was buried on 13 June 1959 in the Parish of Eaton, Norfolk. Probate was granted to his widow on 25 September 1959 and his effects totalled £34,155-10s-10d.
It wasn't until his final years that the hyphen appeared and his second forename became part of his surname.
Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.